by SAGE LEEHEY
“Buy local.” Here in Reno, that’s a phrase you see on stickers and hear people mention all the time. And it’s become one of Dave Asher’s life mottos.
Asher is the director of the Reno Sparks Local Business Cooperative, and he’s one of the driving forces behind the buy local campaign that has become so well-known in the Reno area.
For this holiday season, Asher is bringing together local businesses and artists to the Reno Town Mall to provide local gifting options for residents for the upcoming holidays. This began the weekend after Thanksgiving and will continue through the last weekend of December from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.
“You’re going to spend a lot of money in December, why not spend that money locally?” Asher said. “It’s about a shift. We’re asking people to shift from the chain stores, shift from online shopping, shift that money to local people so that money stays in our community.”
Each vendor in the Reno Town Mall for these shopping days will be locally owned, locally grown and locally made. Asher believes this has the potential to really help the local economy.
“It’s all local stuff, so all the money stays here,” Asher said. “This could really have a huge impact on our economy once it gets bigger and bigger. This is the first annual. The reason it’s important to buy local is jobs—it’s the number one way to create jobs.”
Vendors at the mall during these times will include, local artists, jewelry makers, book authors and even a local hot sauce maker called B-Dubb’s Desert Inferno Hot Sauce, LLC.
Asher also created a website equipped with a full directory of local choices for products and services in Reno and Sparks, and he lists every local option free of charge—something that is uncommon in the world of local business directories.
If it’s the number one way to turn your economy around in your local community and create local jobs, and you only acknowledge them if they give you some money, shame on you. You’re selfish. You’re not putting your community first,” Asher said. “So we have, in the Reno area, one of the more successful buy local campaigns in the country partly because I list everybody for free.”
Asher said that he plans to do events like this more frequently at the town mall and might do one before Valentine’s Day as well. He explained that the “Keep Your Money Home for the Holidays 2013” is a launch for the start of his ten percent shift in 2013 campaign.
“It’s a launch for the mentality of just having people ask themselves before they let go of every single dollar, is there a local business I could be spending this with before I hand it to this chain store or go online and send my money out of the area and actually shrink the economy?” Asher said. “It’s pretty cool.”